100 Years Ago: Letter from Percy Grant Palmer, George Renfrew Is Injured

The Intelligencer July 19, 1918 (page 2)

“Letters from Overseas. From Pte. P. G. Palmer. Dear Mother:—I can hardly believe that it is June 3rd once more and try to bring my scattered sense together where I was three years ago, but impossible. Canada seems very far away at present. The name makes me feel as if I had had an exciting dream and just to have left a faint recollection that there was a place named Belleville mixed up in it somewhere. If I live to see next November it will be my fourth birthday in the army which almost seems beyond imagination.

Still it would take a good many years in this country to make me like it. We are not having a bad time at present and are still in the same place from which I last wrote. I have not met any of the Belleville boys of late, but had a letter from Vernon the other day, in which he says he is well and getting on fine. There are not many of the old original boys of the 33rd left now, and it seems a bit lonely at times to see all the new faces filling in the old places, but the battery still keeps up its old name.

I don’t think this will be a very interesting letter to you, mother, but news is scarce, so can not make a letter very long. We have had no Canadian mail for a long time and the parcels do not come through at all. They must be piled up somewhere. I hope you and sisters are all well. I am in the best of health. Kindest regards to all my friends. Your loving son, P. G. Palmer.”

The Intelligencer July 19, 1918 (page 5)

“Pte. Renfrew Injured. Mrs. George Renfrew of Hybla, Hastings County, has just received a letter from her husband, Pte. George Renfrew, 21st Battalion, saying that he was on his way to the trenches, with his transport wagon when he fell and the wagon passed over his leg. He is in the Military Hospital at Basingstoke, Hants. and is getting along splendidly. His father, Sgt. H. Renfrew, also lives at Hybla.”


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100 Years Ago: Successful Garden Party, Major William Roy Riordan Awarded D.S.O. Medal

The Intelligencer July 18, 1918 (page 5)

“Successful Garden Party. The garden party under the auspices of the Young Women’s Christian Temperance Union held on the lawn of Mrs. John Williams, was a decided success. Many things were contributed to make it such. Even the weatherman who has been so uncertain of late, favored the function, for not a drop of rain came till just all was over and everything cleared away.

The spacious grounds and house were tastefully decorated with flags and bunting, loaned for the occasion. The ‘Y’ with their many friends, did splendid work in furnishing and attending the booths for war cooking, useful and fancy articles, candy and flowers and the fish pond. The ice cream stand was liberally patronized and high tea was served on the lawn from six o’clock to seven-thirty.

The Victrola loaned by the courtesy of the Lindsay Co., added greatly to the pleasure of the event and little Miss Muriel Quinn of Toronto, gave several readings to the delight of all. A goodly sum was realized for the soldiers’ comforts.

The ‘Y’ hopes that the many friends will remember the collection of old cast-offs of lead, brass and electric light bulbs to be made in September, and will be kind to the children when they call.”

The Intelligencer July 18, 1918 (page 5)

“Awarded D. S. O. Medal. Displayed in the window of Mr. F. C. Clarke’s drug store on Front street is a military decoration which is much admired. It is the insignia of the Distinguished Service Order bestowed upon Major William Roy Riordan, of this city, who when the war broke out was in command of the 34th Battery in this city.

He went overseas shortly after and has been on active service in Italy and France. At present he is in France. For gallantry displayed he was awarded the distinguished service medal and it is the first awarded to a Bellevillian.

Major Riordan forwarded the medal, which is in the shape of a Maltese cross and in the centre of the cross bar the British crown is to be seen. The coveted medal is much prized by Mrs. Riordan, mother of the gallant Major, who resides on George Street in this city. The many friends of the brave Major in the city will extend to him congratulations upon securing from His Majesty the King the decoration.”


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100 Years Ago: Schuster Company Coal Notice

The Intelligencer July 17, 1918 (page 7)

“Notice re Coal. The Schuster Company Limited announce that on Thursday, Friday and Saturday of this week, they will sell, only to those whose consumption for the last three years has not averaged more than six tons per year. Preference will be given to those who are without coal at the present time.

Credit will be extended to worthy persons and in other cases orders will be accepted from their employers for payment, extended over a period of three months. The price will be $11.50 delivered, weighed on city scales, unscreened. W. N. Belair. W. E. Schuster.”

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100 Years Ago: Thurlow Red Cross Report, Soldiers of the Soil, Presentation at Nile Green Knitting Circle

The Intelligencer July 16, 1918 (page 3)

“Thurlow Red Cross Makes Large Shipment. One of the most important packings of the society was held in July in Mr. Gowsell’s Hall, Foxboro. The shipment was large and as everything is so much needed now, we hope for just as much in August. The boxes contained: 302 pairs of socks, 203 suits of pyjamas, 55 hospital suits, 176 day shirts, 214 towels, 180 wash cloths, 4 feather pillows, 16 quilts, 8 hot water bag covers, 52 personal property bags, 9 trench caps, 1 convalescent robe, old magazines, and one large barrel of canned fruit and maple syrup packed in evaporated apples. Total value $1,628.00.

These are interesting parts of letters acknowledging boxes from Thurlow Red Cross. Canadian Red Cross Headquarters, Toronto. Dear Madam:—We have much pleasure in advising you of the safe arrival of your last shipment of supplies. No doubt, you are aware that the heavy fighting going on at the present time, means many large demands upon our stores, and in order that the hospitals may be kept well supplied with every comfort for their sick and wounded it is very important that we receive a constant stream of such articles as you have so kindly forwarded us.

We shall be glad therefore if you will kindly accept and convey to all those interested our hearty thanks for their kind co-operation in the work, which is indeed greatly appreciated. Yours very truly, B. S. MacInnes, Sec. …

Bearwood Park, Dear Madam:—I have just received word from Ontario Military Hospital of the arrival of ten cases from Thurlow Red Cross with all kinds of splendid things. I want to thank them and you, their president, for their wonderful generosity. I can never tell them enough, how much their kindness has meant and I assure you everything is most keenly appreciated.

It seems to mean more to them and so much more satisfactory coming direct. Also it means so much to the Sister to have these comforts for her sick men. One box of towels I gave to the operating theatre for they were badly in need of them. Some of the things the socks and cleaning materials which are so very precious, I asked them to save for me until I get back. Cleaning material you cannot get from the army now, if the Sisters don’t buy their own they have to go without.

I am still on light duty at Bearwood Park but expect to be back to Orpington soon. Again thanking you all. I forgot to say that I had the lovely quilts, pyjamas and wash cloths distributed. I am yours gratefully, Ethel Anderson.”

The Intelligencer July 16, 1918 (page 4)

“Soldiers of the Soil. The army of patriotic Canadian boys who enrolled as Soldiers of the Soil are rendering splendid service on the farms and helping to defeat the menace of world food scarcity caused by war conditions. Very little is heard from the boys, for they are too busy to talk for publication, but glimpses of what they are accomplishing are afforded by occasional press articles. …

The work of the S.O.S. boys was so highly appreciated that in almost all districts of the province their services were quickly engaged by the farmers and some boys had to be recruited through various other organizations. The camps were organized along the same line as camps for women and girls, their direction being under the control of the Superintendent of Trades and Labor, and their catering under the immediate supervision of the Y. M. C. A. and other organizations interested in the welfare of boys.”

The Intelligencer July 16, 1918 (page 5)

“Presentation. At a recent meeting of the Nile Green Knitting Circle, at the home of Mrs. McKenna, Great St. James Street, the convenor of the circle, Mrs. Waddell, was made a life member of the Red Cross and Patriotic Association. The Secretary, Mrs. Barlow, in presenting the certificate made a brief address of appreciation, while Miss Corbett pinned the pretty enameled emblem in its proper place. Although taken completely by surprise Mrs. Waddell was able to thank the members of the circle for the honor conferred on her.”

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100 Years Ago: Roy Garrison Wins D.C.M.

The Intelligencer July 15, 1918 (page 5)

“Won D. C. M.

Sergt. Roy Garrison, son of Frank Garrison, of Corbyville, and nephew of ex-Mayor Ketcheson, has been awarded the Distinguished Conduct Medal. Sergt. Garrison went over with the first contingent and although he has been wounded several times he is still in France.”

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100 Years Ago: New Food Regulations Include Lawn Socials and Picnics, Widows’ Pensions in Ontario, More Men Than Needed for Farms

The Intelligencer July 13, 1918 (page 1)

“Canada’s New Food Regulations Include Lawn Socials and Picnics. The following regulations shall apply to all: Public eating places [which] shall include hotel, restaurant, cafeteria, club or club-room, private family keeping boarders, boarding house, school, dining car, steamship, or any place whatsoever where meals or refreshments are regularly served or sold to others than members of the family or household of the proprietor or caterer

Public entertainments, lawn socials, bazaars and tea meetings, public luncheons, dinners and picnics, fairs and exhibitions, lodge, club and fraternal societies’ meetings; and all such places of a like or similar character

Private and semi-private luncheons, dinners, parties and picnics where food or refreshment is served to fifteen or more persons other than members of the family or household of the proprietor; save and except fishing and cargo vessels, military, lumber, logging, mining construction and fish curing camps, hospitals and such places as may hereafter be excepted by the Canada Food Board. …

Sugar receptacles shall not be left on dining tables or counters, except in railway trains and steamships.

Sugar shall not be served unless and until asked for.

For sweetening beverages, not more than two teaspoonfuls or an equal weight of sugar shall be served to any person at any one meal.”

The Intelligencer July 13, 1918 (page 1)

“Pensions For Widows Necessary In Ontario. Toronto. The wisdom of undertaking a scheme of mothers’ pensions is being impressed upon the Ontario Government. These pensions are—or would be monthly allowances to widows with children which would enable them to stay home and care for their family, instead of going to work and sending the little folks to institutions. It is pointed out that the State has to bear a large portion of cost maintaining such places, and that it would be relieved of a part of this burden if it pensioned the mother instead.

In addition, the children would be brought up in the home under a mother’s care, which is the natural and desirable condition. And the great army of children who are not even sent to an institution while their mother works, but who are left to play around home, or to be the careless oversight of some neighbor, would be given a start in life under much more auspicious conditions. The mother would, in reality, be paid to look after her family instead of being paid for some outside work.”

The Intelligencer July 13, 1918 (page 2)

“More Men Offer Than Needed for Farms. Ottawa. There should be no dearth of farm labor for harvesting the crop in Ontario this fall. Senator Gideon Robertson, head of the Canada Registration Board, when seen stated that the number of men signifying their willingness to work on farms during the harvesting season was much larger than could possibly be utilized in the Province.”


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100 Years Ago: Shell Shock Treated at Cobourg, West Hastings Registration

The Intelligencer July 11, 1918 (page 1)

“Shattered Nerves Restored at Cobourg. In this war as in no former war, heavy artillery and high explosives play a leading part. This feature has brought about a type of casualty which was rarely known in other wars, namely, shell shock, bringing with it mental or nervous disability.

On various occasions prominent medical men have tried to prove that there is really no such thing as shell shock, but in spite of that large numbers of men are returning to Canada, rendered unfit for further military service by nervous or mental collapse, due to the strain of modern warfare and the conditions under which men live and fight on the battlefields overseas. These men are, in many cases, in worse condition than those who have lost their limbs, and only the most skilled and careful treatment will ever fit them for former civilian occupations. …

Fortunately for them, the medical staff of our army is fully alive to their needs and have provided special hospitals for them where every device and treatment known to the medical world is provided with a view to bringing about cures. The centre for such treatment in Ontario is at Cobourg and the institution goes under the name of the Ontario Military Hospital.”

The Intelligencer July 11, 1918 (page 1)

“Registration In West Hastings. Mr. J. A. Kerr, of this city, registrar for West Hastings, has received the complete returns from the various deputy registrars appointed in the riding and they show that the total registration was 24,011, of which, 12,108 were males and 11,903 were females.”

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100 Years Ago: Belleville Board of Trade Discusses Coal Situation, Food Purveyors’ Ads Must Include License Number, Fine Potato Crop

The Intelligencer July 10, 1918 (page 1)

“Coal Question Taken Up By Belleville Board of Trade. At the monthly meeting of the Board of Trade held last evening, there was a goodly number of members present, and during the session several matters appertaining to the city’s welfare were discussed. After considerable discussion a committee was appointed to investigate the coal situation in the city having especial reference to the price charged. …

President Marsh said he had obtained prices from several places and the only place where the prices were the same as Belleville was Peterboro. This was a serious question affecting Belleville, said the President, and something should be done to equalize conditions in the city. …

Mr. C. J. Wills—The Fuel Controller cannot regulate the price as he has not the authority to do so. He does not receive a cent for the time he spends as Fuel Controller, but is paid a salary for another civic office he holds. The local controller cannot dispute the figures which are given him by the dealers. …

Mr. W. B. Deacon was of the opinion that some other person than the Fuel Controller could get quotations better than he could. Our Fuel Committee is run by a bunch of amateurs, said Mr. Deacon, who stated that last winter the committee procured some coal at $3 per ton and sold it for $12. This Fuel Committee has got into a muddle in this matter. We cannot blame our coal dealers for the price they secure. The coal dealers should be asked to come to the Board and explain the coal situation. There is a feeling that we are paying too much for coal.

He moved that a committee composed of Col. Marsh, Messrs. C. M. Reid, H. F. Ketcheson, W. B. Deacon and E. P. Frederick be appointed to confer with the coal dealers as to the supply and price of coal. …  The motion of Mr. Deacon was unanimously adopted.”

The Intelligencer July 10, 1918 (page 1)

“Notice to Advertisers. The Daily Intelligencer has been notified by the Canada Food Board that all purveyors of food who publish advertisements in the newspapers must insert the number of their license in each advertisement, as follows: ‘Canada Food Board—License No. ____.’

Those under license asked to observe this notice are: Grocers (wholesale and retail), bakers (manufacturing and retail), manufacturers of breakfast foods and cereals, millers, retail butchers, fish dealers (wholesale and retail), dealers in fresh fruits and vegetables (wholesale and retail), canners and packers.

The Food Board earnestly requests the fullest co-operation of those interested in the observation of this regulation. The Intelligencer trusts that all advertisers will note the request.”

The Intelligencer July 10, 1918 (page 5)

“Fine Crop of Potatoes. Mr. George Ketcheson, residing on Alexander street, in this city, has a patch of potatoes of which he is justly proud. Yesterday from one hill he secured six potatoes whose combined weight was two and three-quarters pounds, which is exceptionally good for this season of the year.”



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100 Years Ago: Wartime Cook Books, Victory Bread, Price of Fish, Men of 19 Can Enlist, Vincent Asselstine Seriously Ill

The Intelligencer July 9, 1918 (page 2)

“Food Board Flashes for Feminine Folk. Do you know that four new booklets which every Canadian woman should possess for herself have now made their bow to the public? Hundreds of so-called war-time cook books have come out during the last two or three years until women are a little bored with what other people are trying to tell them.

But these are different. They deal with bread-making, cooking of fish, the cooking of fruit and vegetables, and preserving and canning. They have attractive covers which are but the outward index to the authoritative and practical contents. In short, they are distinctive from any of the war-time cook books which have been issued in Canada, up-to-date and each is prepared by an expert.

A nominal five cent fee is being charged for each, on the principal that people value more highly what they have to pay for. Send to the Food Board, Ottawa, without delay for these books. Every woman should give them a place of honor in her home and follow their advice day by day in her kitchen.”

“Victory Bread for Canada. How many people realize what it means? For one thing, after this, no woman will be able to buy flour without at the same time buying a certain proportion of substitutes. In effect it means that no bread can now be made in Canada, either in the bake-shop or the home, without a specified percentage of substitutes.

For those who are doubtful about the use of substitutes and the proportions necessary to make bread, a special booklet containing bread recipes and dealing with all the substitutes available on the market, has been issued by the Canada Food Board. It can be obtained direct from any of the provincial committees at five cents a copy.

Let every woman watch out for the ‘Victory’ label on the loaves she buys. If it is not there then it is her duty to report the baker for he is breaking the law.”

The Intelligencer July 9, 1918 (page 2)

“Not Cheap Fish, but Fish Cheap! ‘Cheap fish or fish cheap!’ Sounds the same, doesn’t it? But there is a difference. In substituting fish for meat, Canadian housewives have become very discriminating. ‘Cheap fish’ sounds like it. It is invariably associated with cheap dress goods, cheap furniture and cheap other things. In fact it falls under the odium of cheapness as applied to mean and worthless articles.

The Canada Food Board in the early days of food conservation, made the pardonable mistake of advocating ‘cheap’ fish as a substitute for beef and pork. It hadn’t learned the psychology of the human and feminine mind with regards to the term and their efforts suffered a little in consequence.

The housewife who was offered ‘cheap’ cod, haddock, pullock, skate, whitefish or flatfish by the local fish dealer disliked the sound and passed these varieties by for the luxurious and expensive salmon and halibut. These fish, because of their high price must necessarily be much superior in quality and food value, she reasoned but at the same time registered a strong protest at the prices charged. …

Then someone—a woman probably—said to a Food Board official, ‘The women of Canada don’t want cheap fish. They want fish cheap!’ This terse remark opened up an entirely new point of view and the Board realized that its members would have to do some educational work, and explain.”

The Intelligencer July 9, 1918 (page 2)

“Boys of 19 Given Chance to Enlist. Men of the nineteen year of age class will be permitted to voluntarily enlist in any branch of the service open for recruits is the information contained in a report from Militia Headquarters. Permission is also given for men in category B to enlist as mechanics in the R. A. F. …  There is an opening for a large number of B men in forestry and similar battalions and it is possible that a call for them will be made very soon. The permission to enlist in the R. A. F. only holds good as long as the infantry do not require men.”

The Intelligencer July 9, 1918 (page 5)

“Seriously Ill in England. A telegram received from the Record Office to-day conveyed the news that Private Vincent Asselstine of this city, was seriously ill in England from an attack of pneumonia. Pte. Asselstine left Canada with the 59th Battalion, and was at the front for some time. On the 30th of October last he was severely wounded, since which time he has been in England. He was about to be invalided home when he was taken seriously ill.”

[Note: Private Vincent Asselstine died on July 10, 1918. He is commemorated on Page 361 of the First World War Book of Remembrance.]









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100 Years Ago: Most Disabled Soldiers Making Good, Successful Garden Party

The Intelligencer July 6, 1918 (page 3)

“Returned Disabled Soldiers Nearly All Making Good. Toronto. Mr. Fred Holmes of the Invalided Soldiers’ Commission addressed a joint meeting of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, Ontario section, and the Engineering Institute of Canada, Toronto branch, at the Engineers’ Club on ‘The Training of Disabled Soldiers in the Industries.’ He described the advantage that has already accrued to many returned disabled soldiers by re-education in industry. …

It would pay the Government, he said, inside of five years to spend $20,000,000 on this work, by the saving in pensions, and the advantage to the men would be incalcuable. Eighty to ninety per cent of the men made good, and with the remainder it was largely a question of patience and experiment.”

The Intelligencer July 6, 1918 (page 7)

“Successful Garden Party. A very successful garden party was held on the lawn of Mr. and Mrs. F. E. O’Flynn east Bridge street yesterday afternoon and last evening in the interests of the Red Cross and Patriotic Association. The grounds were tastefully decorated with flags and bunting, and at the entrance, and in prominent places in the decorations the American flag was in evidence.

A large variety of flowers in the terraces, consisting of roses, pansies, sweet peas, forget-me-nots, primroses, were greatly admired by the guests and added to the beauty of the scene. Tea and refreshments were served and the head table was presided over by Mrs. (Col.) Lazier, President of the Association, and Mrs. E. Guss Porter. The table of homemade cooking was in charge of Mrs. Boyes, with a splendid group of assistants, and the demand for the homemade products was so great that the stock was entirely disposed of.

The flower tables were in charge of Miss Corby, Miss Ida Thompson, Miss Kelso and Miss Rathbun. The many beautiful flowers were artistically arranged and very much admired by the many who were present and were sold for the benefit of our boys overseas. The ice cream table was in charge of Mrs. J. A. Borbridge and an able band of assistants, and they were the hardest worked ladies on the ground. The fish pond was an attractive corner of the ground and Mrs. Waddell, Mrs. Horie, Miss Corbett and Miss Newton, who so successfully managed it, was ample proof of its success.

The day was an ideal one ‘just enough shadow to temper the light of the sun.’ A pleasant feature of the afternoon was the presentation of certificates of life membership in the Red Cross Society from the members of the Red Cross and Patriotic Association to Miss Annie Hurley, the secretary, and Miss Clara Yeomans, the treasurer. The presentation was made by Mrs. (Col.) Lazier and Mrs. (Dr.) Yeomans.

In the evening the band of the 15th Battalion, A.L.I., furnished a program of music and the decorations, flowers and music, together with the tables and many things presented a beautiful and animated scene.

The playing of God Save the King at 9.30 brought to a close one of the most successful garden parties held by the association.”


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